If you want to enjoy the best of what West Sussex has to offer then head to Arundel for this picturesque walk. Natalie Leal follows a route through the pretty medieval town, along the river Arun and into the spectacular countryside of the Norfolk Estate surrounding Arundel Castle

Distance/Time: A circular walk of just over three miles taking about two hours.

By car: Arundel is on the A27 between Worthing and Chichester.

Follow the signs through the town to cathedral.

The car park is a little further along London Road on the left.

Postcode: BN18 9AS. Grid reference: TQ013073.

By public transport: The closest rail station is Arundel, approximately two miles from the start point of the walk. The number 700 bus service runs regularly to Arundel. Further travel details at www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk, phone 0871 200 2233.

What’s underfoot: Public footpaths, pavement and tarmac. Some riverside walking which can be muddy after wet weather. A couple of stiles to climb.

Thirsty work: Swanbourne Lodge Cafe is around halfway through the walk.

Plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants in Arundel.

So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer map OL10, plus a compass for general direction.

1. PARK in the small car park by the top entrance to Arundel Park. Head away from the gates walking back down towards the road, then at the road turn left in the direction of Arundel cathedral. Walk past the cathedral to your right and St Nicholas Church (a 14th century Anglican church) to your left until you reach the T junction.

Here, turn left again and walk towards the large castle gates, then follow the road down the hill through the town. At the bottom of the hill you will arrive at a mini roundabout just before a bridge over the river.

Turn left here on to Mill Road and then almost immediately cross over and enter Jubilee Gardens. The ruins you see here are those of a 13th century Dominican Priory which was dissolved in 1538 and have languished here ever since. Walk though the gardens and follow the footpath leading behind Arundel museum and up on to the riverbank.

2. This path takes you alongside the river Arun as it meanders through the valley. There are tremendous views towards the town and castle as you walk along this stretch with views over the South Downs ahead.

Continue along the raised riverbank for three quarters of a mile until you reach a gate and a footpath to your left. Go through the gate continue straight ahead here ignoring the left hand footpath.

Keep straight ahead for a further half a mile until you arrive at a sluice where a smaller stream runs into the river Arun.

3. Go left here turning on to the narrow footpath running to the right of the mill stream. Follow this path alongside the water and reeds. Over to the right is the edge of the Arundel Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre.

When you reach a metal footbridge go straight ahead and then down some steps opposite which curve around to the right. Keep walking and then take the next set of stone steps out on to the road. Go right here.

Ignore the signed footpath on the opposite side of the road and continue on walking straight ahead towards the red gates of Arundel Park.

4. Go through the gates by Swanbourne Lodge Cafe and take the footpath straight ahead. Continue along this footpath with Swanbourne boating Lake and Arundel castle to your left. At the opposite side of the lake you will arrive at a fork in the path. Take the higher footpath to the right and walk towards the gate.

Go through this and then follow the path straight ahead through the valley (there are often sheep and occasionally cattle grazing here). Ignore the first small turning to the left but after approximately a third of a mile the path splinters off sharply to the left and leads up the side of the valley.

Go left following the clear footpath uphill (this path is partly fenced in with woods to your right) where you are soon rewarded with glorious views back out over Arundel park, Swanbourne Lake and the surrounding countryside. When you reach a gate climb the stile beside it and then turn immediately right and walk up the steps.

At the top of the steps you will be confronted by the Hiorne Tower, an eighteenth century folly built in the grounds of the Norfolk Estate. With the Hiorne Tower to your right cross the parkland to a tarmac path.

At the path turn left and follow it downhill. When you reach the bottom of the hill go through the gate where you arrive at the car park, the start and end point of the walk.